‘The Beat Goes On’

By: Jim Pettinger, President of UCanTrade, Inc.

sonnyandcherRecent reports about the continuing slow Canadian economy and increased consumer optimism in the United States lead to one simple conclusion – the beat still goes on for Canadian exporters and traders wishing to earn extra valuable greenbacks. With the U.S. Christmas selling season now starting on Labor Day, there is no time to waste. According to www.xmasclock.com you have roughly 100 days to still cash in. (Sonny and Cher – The Beat Goes On – circa 1967)

Link: Canada Economic Forecast
Link: US consumer confidence in August highest in 11 months

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Optimize For Customers. Optimize Your Business.

So much more than business analysis or software upgrades, optimizing your business means taking a global approach to reviewing the processes required to satisfy your customers’ needs.

By definition, to optimize, is to make the best or most effective use of (a situation, opportunity, or resource).  “It is not something only for the big companies,” says Casian Glavce, General Manager at Hewitt Material Handling, “if you do not optimize, you’re not going to be in business.”  This is particularly true for small and medium exporters where the supply chain process is very involved and oversights can cripple a business.

Packaging optimization for example, which is often overlooked, can significantly impact a company’s transportation costs which ultimately impacts pricing, one of the most important decisions a business owner has to make.  Inefficient order fulfillment can also be costly.

UCT Ops Mgr, Terry Dickey, handling costly odd-length package.

UCanTrade’s Operations Manager, Terry Dickey, handling costly odd-length package.

JR White, director, solutions engineering at KNAPP explains, “With the ecommerce orders … items can’t just be dumped into a shipping carton willy-nilly. There is a logical order to the packing that prevents damage and ensures the order arrives neatly presented to the customer. In other words, the shoes are not on top of the shirts.  That’s the first thing the customer sees and if you screw that up they’re not going to like it. They’re going to complain about it online and then ten other people aren’t going to shop here—all because of one missed order.” Accurate, considerate order fulfillment dramatically impact a company’s sales and market sustainability.

Through an ‘export lens’, trade experts and government organizations can provide invaluable assistance to help you outline your ‘best, most effective’ plan, to both optimize for your customer’s needs while simultaneously optimizing your business goals and returns on investments.

Interested in doing business in the United States?  Learn more at our upcoming seminar, October 19, 2016 in Richmond, B.C. Canada.  (Click HERE for more information.)

(Related: Six Eyes On Every BoxHow Much Should I Charge My U.S. Customers? )

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

(Source article)

Doing Business in the USA Seminar

Doing Business in the USA Seminar

Understand Your Options, Determine Your Structure, Expand Your Sales

DBUSA 2016

Event type: In-class seminar
Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Time: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm Pacific Time
Place: SHERATON VANCOUVER AIRPORT HOTEL 7551 Westminster Highway, Richmond, BC V6X 1A3 Canada
Fee: $75.00 CAD plus GST (per attendee)
Register Online
Register Offline

Join us on October 19th for a fast-paced guide to expanding your sales into the United States. Whether opening a store front with a U.S. address or partnering with a distribution centre for your eCommerce activity, our seasoned cross-border lawyers, accountants, customs brokers and logistics professionals will present options that will help you determine your export strategy and understand your responsibilities with government agencies such as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration.

Small and medium sized businesses in the export development planning stage who attend this event will:

Determine:

  • Optimal structure for U.S. presence
  • Cost-effective distribution channels
  • Responsibility for federal and state tax
  • What is considered “working” in the U.S.
Understand:

  • U.S. consumer purchasing behavior
  • Canadian export requirements
  • U.S. import compliance
  • Available resources

 

How Much Should I Charge My U.S. Customers?

By:  Jim Pettinger, President of UCanTrade, Inc.

Most Canadian companies preparing to launch into the lucrative U.S. market are unsure how to price their offerings. In a recent issue of his free e-newsletter, “Verne’s Insights”, Verne Harnish recommended a book by Dr. Hermann Simon of Simon-Kucher & Partners, entitled “Confessions of The Pricing Man – How Price Affects Everything”. Pricing is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in business and one that is at best an educated guess at most organizations. One of the books key assertions is that price is the most effective profit driver. Manage for Profit, not for Market Share.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Export By Way of the U.S.A.

Recognized as the world’s largest economy, the United States of America offers Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs the perfect springboard from which to launch their international business further abroad.

Given the similarities between the Canadian and American cultures and their geographical proximity, selling to the U.S. first simply makes sense, says Jim Pettinger, President of UCanTrade, Inc.  As well, he adds, quick-to-buy Americans perceive Canadian products to be ‘a cut above the rest’ and as such are willing to pay more.  Combine that with favorable exchange rates and U.S. sales become more profitable than domestic Canadian sales. (Related article: “Selling to Americans”)

In a recent interview with Export Development Canada (EDC), Halifax’s LED Roadway Lighting CEO, Peter Conlon said, “to be a legitimate exporter you have to have business in the U.S.” “If you’re not in the world’s leading market”, adds Conlon, “you’re not really a contender.”

After establishing their U.S. presence, the EDC reported that ‘opportunities came up’ for LED Roadway Lighting in places ‘seeking out clean energy’ listing countries in Europe, the UK, India, Latin America, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade

Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Don’t Miss Out – Q4 US Federal Contract Spend (7/14 Webinar)

Hosted by Judy Bradt, CEO of Summit Insight, with special guest Bill Jaffe, SVP TAPE, this 7/14/16 webinar, ‘Next 5 Tactics for Federal Q4’, shares successful methods (Canadian) businesses can use to secure US federal contracts.

According to Bradt, “over 25% of federal contract spend happens between mid-August and September 30th.” Earn more on your US sales by learning the strategies now to sell your goods and services to the US government.  Registration information HERE. (Note: all registrants get the recordings.)

(Related Article: Use It or Lose It – How Fiscal Year End Buying Could Change Your Business)

FREE USA Market Research Info (Published by: Jim Pettinger, President UCanTrade, Inc.)

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.
UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Subscribe HERE to receive our TradeTips Newsletter – Cross-Border News & Upcoming Events in the Pacific Corridor

Selling to big retailers? Beware of charge-backs.

By: Jim Pettinger, President of UCanTrade, Inc.

In recent years, most “big box” retailers have followed Walmart’s lead by introducing “Vendor Compliance” programs. While understandable due to the huge volume of goods being received, the practice has also come under criticism for becoming a “revenue stream” rather than a reasonable business practice. Typical reasons for “fines” of $250 or more can include: early/late delivery, ASN/EDI violations, improper labels, purchase order violations, pricing errors, overages/shortages, broken pallets and damaged cartons.

Our advice to Canadians entering the US market has always been, “build your distribution channel from the bottom up”. There are thousands of local and regional retailers with whom you can build a “win-win” personal relationship while learning the ropes. And when you do venture into deeper water, make sure you negotiate profitable pricing and work with a third-party logistics company that can help you minimize delivery issues.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Selling to Americans

The number one obstacle preventing Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs from making successful U.S. sales ‘is not the border’, says Jim Pettinger, President and CEO at UCanTrade, Inc., but rather marketing challenges – target marketing to be specific (Related: “Focus, Focus, Focus”).

Economic and consumer diversity found within each state presents exporters with immense marketing challenges almost as immense as America itself. The BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) recommends using professional surveys and/or informal questionnaires about your products or services to develop an effective marketing plan. Informed by your surveys, the marketing plan is tailored to attract the customers most interested or in need of your products or services – your target market.

US Sales Boost Canadian Economy

A committed and consistent online marketing campaign can also be effective, says BDC. They also suggest asking your current ‘top ten’ customers what you’re already doing right – then keep it up! Use all at your disposal to spread your brand (Car wraps, sidewalks, billboards etc.), but BDC cautions, “your images and messages should focus on what you’re selling, not your company’s name.”

Related: “Five Strategies for Expanding Your Business to the USA

(Source: 7 low-cost marketing strategies to implement now)

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Focus, Focus, Focus

During the recent Doing Business in the USA seminar held in Langley, B.C. June 9, 2016, cross-border veteran, Jim Pettinger detailed practical, affordable marketing strategies for small business owners and entrepreneurs interested in expanding their business into the USA.

Pettinger, president and C.E.O. of UCanTrade, Inc., provides Canadian
businesses, particularly those in British Columbia, with USA business
and logistics services from his Ferndale, WA warehouse, located just
south of the Peace Arch border crossing.

UCanTrade.com

He advised the group of attendees, made up of SMEs, small business owners, and entrepreneurs, to ‘think domestically’ when selling goods and services to the U.S.A., adding the “number one obstacle is not the border, it’s dialing in on a target market.”  (Related Article: Five Strategies for Expanding Your Business to the USA)

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Crowdfunding takes another step forward

By: Jim Pettinger

The modern era of “crowdfunding” started with the JOBS act, signed into law by President Obama in 2012. Since that date, multiple websites have been launched to support funding drives, and billions of dollars have been raised by entrepreneurs, generally preselling their products. (For a great recent example, see Alinker on Indiegogo.) Now (as of March 2016), the concept has been extended to allow those earning less than $100,000 a year or people with a net worth lower than that the opportunity to invest in small businesses and startups. Naturally, there will be much discussion regarding options and strategies, but it may well extend the opportunity of venture investing and venture fundraising to smaller investors and smaller ventures. For a good initial series of articles, see the Entrepreneur magazine website.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news and/or follow us on Twitter @UCanTrade.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade